Abstract

This study examines the ways in which 272 recently certified occupational therapists learned of the profession of occupational therapy and the factors that influenced their decisions to choose occupational therapy as a career. The data were analyzed according to age, sex, and geographic region to identify potential ways to improve recruitment efforts. The results indicated that therapists most often learned of the profession while working in a health care setting. First exposure to occupational therapy was usually through an acquaintance in the profession, a family member, or a friend. The primary reasons for choosing occupational therapy included a desire to help people with disabilities, the promise of challenge and variety, the opportunity to work in a health care setting, and the belief that jobs are plentiful. The factors most likely to dissuade people from the profession were the expense of an education and lack of a clear understanding of occupational therapy.

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